Confessions and Celebrities….

Time for some honesty.
I didn’t cook last night. In fact, I only cook a few nights a week. It’s time for me to come out of the closet….
I am a leftovers garbage disposal.
Don’t laugh! I provide a very useful service for my in-laws! I’m not picky. Just make sure it’s gluten-free and dairy-free and I will throw it on a bed of lettuce and call it dinner. Waste not, want not, I say! Last night I made like a squirrel after dance class and raided their refrigerator. Using leftovers from 3 separate dinners I made a salad masterpiece of Red Leaf Lettuce, roasted brussel sprouts, roasted sweet potato & onions, and pulled pork! HEAVEN!!!!
Food often tastes better leftover. The flavors have a chance to mingle. I would never turn my nose up at leftovers! They are another chance to recreate something out of nothing!
Okay! Now that that’s out of the way, I have some more pictures of GF Guy with the people he has been meeting out in LA. 
Someone asked if I was jealous. Not really, more excited for him! 
GET EXCITED!!!!!
Randy Jackson
Matt Damon, John Kasinski, & Emily Blunt
John Kisinski & Emily Blunt
Steven FREAKIN’ Tyler!!!!!!!!
Tom Cruise
There were other, too… Ryan Seacrest, Julianne Hough, Shannon Elizabeth, Adam Shankman, Mia Michaels, Weird Al, some people from Glee, Joel Hoekstra from Night Ranger, Rikki Rockett the Drummer from Poison, and Carmen Electra! The whole Steven Tyler thing was almost too much for me to handle! I FLIPPIN’ LOVE HIM!!!!! It’s only Wednesday! Who knows who else might show up!
What celebrity would you most like to meet?

How to Politely Return a Pie Plate….

GF Guy’s Aunt P & Uncle R are visiting from Detroit. 
They are brilliant, if you ask me. I mean seriously, who would want to be up in that frigid wasteland when it feels like summer here in Florida?
Anyway, a few months ago, GF Guy’s show played one of the theaters in Detroit. Uncle R & Aunt P went to see the show and brought the cast a homemade Apple Pie in a glass pie plate. 

Wrapped tightly in a jacket, that plate made it’s way across the country and into my kitchen for safe-keeping. 
Since Uncle R & Aunt P are now here, I figured it was time to return the prodigal pie plate to its rightful owners. Horweve, I couldn’t merely return the plate. It had to be done properly & politely. When returning a dish, it should never be returned empty. It’s only polite.
So… I returned it full of a second recipe from Mommy’s Kitchen! Behold the amazing Homemade Peanut Butter Custard Pie!!! 

Topped with homemade Meringue and filled with creamy custard, this pie is a peanut lovers dream! My changes:

Another creamy, dreamy winner! I think I like this whole pie thing! Just one step closer to becoming a stereotypical 1950’s housewife!
PS- Remember when I was jealous that GF Guy met Tom Cruise?  Forget that! He met Matt Damon and John Krasinski from The Office on Sunday when they came to see his show! Ridiculous!

    Old-Fashioned Southern Puddin’ Pie….

    Pie crusts are my nemesis!
    I LOVE them. The flaky, buttery delicious crust was always my favorite part of the pie. Alas, that is no more thanks to that pesky little gluten and dairy problem I seem to have. Even the Gillian’s pre-made gluten-free crust has dairy! 
    BOO! 
    A few weeks ago, someone gave me a box of Gluten-Free Pantry Perfect Pie Crust mix. 
    It stared at me, taunting me every time I opened the cupboard. Something had to be done!
    I strapped on my 6-shooter, jingled my spurs, and faced off with the enemy.
    (cue tumble weed)
    Using Spectrum Non-Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening & Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, I was able to get some semblance of a crust. It was very delicate, but it was an okay first attempt. JOY!!!!!!!
    New problem…. I was stuck with two pie crusts cooling on the counter and hadn’t thought of what to put in them.
    Enter Mommy’s Kitchen, a blog by a Southern mom of 3 named Tina. Her pies are OUTRAGEOUSLY GOOD, and her recipes are wonderfully accessible for an amateur pie maker like myself.
    I filled my first pie crust with her Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie with Meringue Topping
    Instead of Half & Half I used Vance’s Dari Free, and instead of butter I used Earth Balance. Other than that it was as written. Let me tell you what, it was the most delicious, chocolatey puddin’-tastic piece of heaven on a plate I have ever experienced! MAKE THIS PIE, YA’LL!
    What about the other crust? Tune in tomorrow! πŸ™‚

    Name Dropping….

    GF Guy’s show is currently performing in LA. So far he has met Shannon Elizabeth, Carmen Electra, Julianne Hough, Adam Shankman, Mia Michaels, a bunch of famous 80s rockers, AND…..
    Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes!!!
    GF Guy is in the maroon shirt & jeans, 2nd row, 2nd person from the end on the left. He is so handsome! πŸ™‚

    Blueberry Whirlwind….

    This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

    What a whirlwind of a weekend!  I have been one busy bee!

    I swear, I need a break from myself! I haven’t sat down to have a “weekend” all weekend! To be honest, I have a hard time allowing myself to relax. Over-committing myself is one of my worst habits. I always end of stressed out and exhausted. In the end, I’m always happy to have volunteered. It’s just stressful leading up to the actual occasion.
    My Aunt’s birthday was today, which meant of huge day long fete of fabulosity! I made my usual 12 lbs of Pulled Pork, but decided to debut a new recipe for dessert (make that 3 new recipes, but those will come later!)
    I’ve never made cheesecake, dairy-free or regular. What better place to test a GF/DF recipe than a house full of gluten/dairy eaters?! The response was one of overwhelming success! Enjoy!

    Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake with a Lemon Cookie Crust
    (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)

    Ingredients:

    PUREE:

    • 1 1/2 c. Blueberries
    • 1/4 c. Turbinado Sugar
    • 2 tsp. Cornstarch
    • 1 Tblsp. Lemon Juice

    CRUST:

    FILLING:

    Directions:

    BLUEBERRY PUREE:

    1. Combine berries, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. 
    2. Bring to boil over medium heat and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. 
    3. Puree in blender with lemon juice. 
    4. Cool completely.

    CRUST:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
    2. Wrap outside of 9-inch springform pan with foil. 
    3. Place cookies in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Pulse into crumbs.
    4. Combine crumbs, sugar and oil in bowl; mix well. 
    5. Press evenly into the bottom of the foil wrapped pan and bake 10 minutes. Cool.

    ASSEMBLY:

    1. Beat Tofutti cream cheese in mixer bowl until light and fluffy. 
    2. Gradually add sugar and beat until completely smooth. 
    3. Beat in Tofutti sour cream and vanilla. 
    4. At low speed, beat in eggs one at a time, then Biscuit & Baking Mix just until blended. 
    5. Pour batter over crust.
    6. Place pan in larger baking pan. 
    7. Carefully drizzle blueberry puree over batter. 
    8. Swirl knife through batter to marbleize. 
    9. Place on oven rack in 350 degree oven. Pour boiling water into larger pan 1 inch up side of springform pan to create a water bath. 
    10. Bake 1 hour and 45 minutes or until just set. 
    11. Turn oven off; let stand in oven 1 hour. 
    12. Remove pan from water bath. Remove foil; cool completely. 
    13. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 
    Now, I’m going to sit back with a nice glass of White Burgundy and watch Hitch
    1. Do you tend to over-commit yourself? How do you know your limits?

    A Glimpse….

    A glimpse into my kitchen of late….
    I successfully made my in-law’s family recipe for Chicken & Yellow Rice.
    The counter is lined with jars of freshly made Fireside Coffee Mix, and twelve pounds of pork are marinating in the refrigerator.

    A GF/DF Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake is currently in the oven.

    In other news, Dickens has taken over as man of the house. He hogs the remote control….

    And has taken over the comfy chair….

    And that’s my life! Cheers!

    Friday Link Lovin’

    HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!
    Today we are going to spend some time giving a little link lovin’ to what’s hot in my little corner of the world this week!

    • Check out Collected, a blog about all things creative and beautiful, for a daily dose of creative inspiration!

    • The Sparkle Nail Polish Collection by OPI.- Sparkle-licious is my FAV! How can you not want to put on cute clothes and run around when you have sparkles on your nails? (I’m such a girl!) 

    So, what are your plans for this weekend?
    We are celebrating my Aunt’s 60th birthday with a huge bash. I have big plans to make pulled pork, greens, & a GF/DF Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake! (recipe to follow if it is a success!)

    1. Do you have any fun/exciting plans?
    2. What’s hot in your corner of the world this week?

    Get Fishy With It….

    I LOVE fish! 
    I cooked it all the time for myself my senior year of college. Then, GF Guy & I got engaged and married. He HATES fish. The result, I stopped cooking fish. Now that he is on the road, nothing is stopping my from enjoying a delicious piece of fish. The problem? I’m out of practice! I always seem to forget about it! Well, that is about to change! It’s time to get fishy with it!
    Spice Rubbed White Fish Baked in Foil
    (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)

    Ingredients:

    • 1 filet mild White Fish (Tilapia, Orange Roughy, etc….)
    • 1 small Zucchini, cut into 1/2 moons
    • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 1-2 Tblsp North Market Spices House English Rub
    • 1/4 cup White Wine

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Line a baking pan with foil.
    3. Place fish and zucchini in the foil.
    4. Drizzle oil all over the fish and vegetables, and toss to coat thoroughly.
    5. Sprinkle fish and vegetables with spice mix. Toss to coat evenly.
    6. Pour wine around fish.
    7. Fold foil tightly closed.
    8. Bake in oven 20-25 minutes, until fish flakes easily.

      I’ve Joined the Green Party….

      I’ve joined the Green Party!
       Don’t worry! I’ve gone all political on you! 
      I’m talking about greens! You know: Chard, Kale, Collards…..

      You see, I have a friend who needs to eat more greens, but isn’t exactly a fan of the taste. This is baffling to me, because greens are soooo delicious! This recipe is a simple, but elegant, preparation of greens that is the perfect accompaniment to my BBQ stuffed Aloha Chicken recipe from yesterday. For added flavor, I recommend you make your greens in the same skillet you used to sear your chicken. Bon appetit!
       

      Drunken Swiss Chard & Mushrooms
      (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan)

      Ingredients:

      • 1 Tblsp Earth Balance Buttery Substitute
      • 1 lb Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
      • 4 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
      • 1/3 cup Chardonnay
      • 1 bunch Swiss Chard, destemmed & roughly chopped
      • Sea Salt & Black Pepper, just a pinch of each

      Directions:

      1. Melt Earth Balance in a skillet over medium heat.
      2. Add sliced mushrooms to the melted butter substitute and cook until browned and fragrant, about 4-5 minutes.
      3. Add garlic and saute’ 2 minutes.
      4. Deglaze the pan with Chardonnay and allow to reduce slightly, about 2 minutes.
      5. Add chard and saute’ until wilted.
      6. Season with sea salt & black pepper & serve.
      **I recommend serving over Buckwheat accompanying my BBQ Stuffed Aloha Chicken!** 

      This post is linked to GF Wednesdays!